Haloti Ngata Suspended 4 Games; Big for Browns


The Cleveland Browns may have just gotten a big break. Haloti Ngata, the stud defensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens, has been suspended for four games, the rest of the season. The team announced it via Twitter:

Ngata, in a statement, reported taking Adderall. In the new NFL Drug Policy Adderall is still considered a performance enhancing drug if taken during the season but as a substance of abuse if taken in the off-season. Obviously Ngata tested positive during the season.

This is a big break for the Browns, the rest of the AFC North as well as the AFC Wild Card contenders.

For the Browns in particular losing Ngata gives the Browns a better chance of beating the Ravens in their Week 17 match-up. That game could have a big impact on both the AFC North and the Wild Card.

The Browns have struggled most against teams with strong front 7 play, the Jaguars, Texans and Bills are great examples. With Ngata the Ravens have a dominate player that takes a ton of attention and is very disruptive. Without him the defensive line loses a ton of their ability to disrupt the run and pass game of the Browns.

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The Browns should be able to run the ball better in Week 17 without Ngata which will setup the play action passing. Brian Hoyer, or Johnny Manziel if things go bad, will then benefit from more time as the offensive line can focus on the outside pass rushers more with Ngata not fighting in the middle of the line.

The Ravens have an interesting schedule ahead of them. They face Wild Card contending Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans, with the lowly Jaguars in between, with the Browns finishing their season. 3 of the 4 games are likely to be against teams who have winning records and could vie for a playoff spot. A tough task for any team when losing perhaps their best defender. With Ngata the Ravens have given up the 4th best rushing yards per game. Without him? We shall see.

How big of a deal is Haloti Ngata’s suspension for the Cleveland Browns’ playoff hopes?